New Beacon of hope



Bob at The Beacon, the Salvation Army's new $23.3 million hostel. Picture: Andrew Ritchie Bob at The Beacon, the Salvation Army's new $23.3 million hostel. Picture: Andrew Ritchie Buy this photo

THE Salvation Army’s new $23.3 million purpose-built hostel to accommodate up to 102 homeless men in the city has officially opened.

Capacity at The Beacon Men’s Hostel, at the corner of Aberdeen and Nash streets, almost doubles its predecessor, the Lentara Hostel, which was built in the 1970s and demolished in 2011.

The Beacon will provide accommodation for individuals for up to six months, and deliver various centralised services including employment assistance and referrals to drug and alcohol support organisations.

For residents like 67-year-old Bob, The Beacon offers a safe and nurturing environment, where people down on their luck can get the help they need.

Bob came to Perth from Europe to help a friend financially, when he experienced mental problems and was admitted to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

After being discharged in December last year, he came under the care of the Salvation Army and recently moved to The Beacon after staying at the organisation’s temporary hostel, Murlali Lodge in Salter Point.

Bob said he could not fault the Beacon accommodation or the care of the staff but warned others that what happened to him, could happen to anyone.

“It’s quite frightening. I’ve never been in that situation before and mixed with people who were in that situation,” he said.

“My grandfather spoke about the Salvation Army as a soldier in World War I and my father as a soldier in World War II.

“This building shows the depth of commitment of the Salvation Army and that commitment has never wavered.”

Bob plans to leave The Beacon in April and return to Europe.

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